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Nov
10
2017

ACCELERATION FUNDS ARE STARTING TO TAKE ON NEW IDEAS

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Anyone with an innovative business idea can receive acceleration funds to kick their business idea into high gear.

At the acceleration fund presentation event, all “Altum” fund managers presented themselves for the first time: 'BuildIt Latvia', ‘Acceleration fund in cooperation with 'Lattelecom' and 'Accelerace'' and the 'Commercialization Reactor Fund'. "Altum" will provide each fund with five million euros from the 15 million euros available from the European Regional Development fund (ERDF).

'BuildIt Latvia' is made of a team of professionals from Latvia and Estonia - Matiss Neumann, Rene Tonnisons and Alexander Tonnisons - with more than ten years of experience with start-ups investing in technologically dependent companies, scientific development companies, as well as commercialization. 'BuildIt Latvia’ program is designed for teams to develop technological solutions compatible with potentially high international competitiveness.

The acceleration fund, which is being implemented in cooperation with the 'Lattelecom' and 'Accelerace' will provide investments of 40 000 euros in the beginning and investments of up to 250 000 euros to bigger companies. This fund managers to invest primarily in Central and Eastern European start-ups operating to increase efficiency in the workplace and automation have already achieved initial revenue. In the fund management team entrepreneurs with experience in creating start-ups Pēteris Marculans, Dmitrijs Saikovskis and Davids Vencels will be working. They have experience in building their businesses and sales, as well as with work with accelerator programs and start-up investment funds 'Techstars' and 'Accelerace'.

The ‘Commercialization reactor fund’ has experience in the acceleration of start-ups. Over the span of seven years, the fund has realized over ten programmes while creating more than 70 start-ups that have been able to attract more than five million euros in investments. Its team includes Nikolajs Adamovičs, Ella Kalniņa, Lelde Stukle un Voldemars Bredikis. The fund is orientated towards high tech and science start-ups in Latvia and the Baltics as well as in Eastern Europe and other neighboring countries. The Fund not only selects already formed start-ups, but also makes new teams, combining scientists who have ideas, and entrepreneurs, who believe in the commercialization of this idea.

The managers of this fund will invest in innovative companies that have high growth potential and are in the earliest development stages. The financial support will come in two stages - pre-seed and seed money investments. The managers of the fund will provide mentors and needed counseling. The Acceleration funds will need to register the company with the Commission of the financial and capital market.

Finance minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (ZZS) emphasises that ‘Altum’ has done a lot of work to be the first ones in the Baltics to be able to provide acceleration funds: “Fund managers have a lot of work ahead of them - new entrepreneurs will need not only financial support but also help from experienced professionals. That is a huge responsibility because they will need to create and support ideas that are competitive not just in the local market, but also in the global market.”

One of the board members at ‘Altum’ says that this is the moment that people with new and promising ideas can go pitch their ideas to the acceleration funds and qualify for acceleration support. He predicts that around 120 promising ideas will receive acceleration and investment support: “The reason for acceleration funds is to provide a boost to promising high added value ideas. The acceleration funds will fill the missing gap between the country and the company in the commercialization stage. The new funds are focused on this stage, especially dealing with tech and innovation companies.”